Loudness Discomfort with Sensorineural Hearing Loss

#1

I seem to have fairly significant higher frequency hearing loss. However while having a hearing loss, I seem to be super sensitive to any sudden noise like banging and clanking of pots and pans or cutlery. On one hand I am having some trouble crisply understanding speech on the TV in front of me, and the next minute I am jumping out of my skin in response to a sudden noise in the kitchen a room away. Does our body hearing system have a function similar to a microphone set up to automatically change sensitivity based on how loud the noise being recorded is? What I am thinking is that my body volume control is being cranked up so I can hear speech and then a sudden noise makes the sound so loud it is almost painful. Is this true?

And my second part of the question/concern is what will happen if I am fitted with hearing aids. Is this effect going to get worse? Or better?

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#2

Maybe you get used to everything being soft and an actual loud, sharp sound takes you by surprise?

Maybe being aided all the time will make that better?

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#3

But, it’s not unusual for a new wearer to feel that clanking sounds are uncomfortable, but your brain adjusts after a few weeks.

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#4

I also have high frequency loss, and I am extra sensitive to moderate and loud noises. I got hearing aids three months ago, and I think the aids have improved my sensitively by a modest amount.

And yes, aids do tend to make painful noise worse. For me, it is worth it.

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#5

Do these machines have any specific features that can compress the dynamic range of the sound to try and limit this disturbing effect.

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#6

Search “recruitment”. There is a good explanation in a post from Dec ‘09.

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#7

That and hyperacusis…

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#8

After doing a bit of research on this issue, it sounds like the HA feature intended to address this is called Transient Impulse Control? It also appears that Siemens have developed a specific version of it, they call SoundSmoothing, that has been in use for about 10 years. It seems to be a standard feature on the Signia, Rexton, and Kirkland HA’s, and has 3 adjustment steps. I’m thinking his may address my issue?

Siemens SoundSmoothing

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